Turns out the Ecuadorian Embassy cut Assange's internet access. Wow. That's, uh, disappointing.
Five myths of the middle ages. There's been this story idea in the back of my head for the past 3 years of a vaguely 2nd world Arabic desert society where the struggle is to control magic and the trade routes through the unpopulated areas. After writing out a synopsis last year I thought the story was DOA (no real there there, mostly I have the "villain's" story, but not anyone to challenge it except for some paper thin concepts). But as I incorporate more influences and cultures (because my brain won't shut up about it), I'm beginning to think it may actually have legs. (Grokked from Dr Caitlin Green)
Ann Leckie on the fear of being blacklisted. First, she's correct. Look, nobody has the time to create and keep such a list up to date. Can you piss off an editor so much that they'll never buy from you? Probably. And editors do talk with each other so if you're an intentional ass to one, you can probably bet twenty or so will know you by reputation if not by name. But this is the opposite of the Myth of The Secret. You know, that Secret. The one to publishing. See, there's some handshake that published authors have learned that let them in. Go to a convention and you'll see published authors hanging out with each other. See. SEE! Look, I'm not a published author yet (shakes tiny fists at the sky and yells at the clouds). But I've met a lot of people in this business who are. And I hang out with those authors in the bars at cons. I hung out with some of them when there were where I'm at and I watch them launch while I sat on the pad, and they were also hanging out with published authors back then. There is no secret handshake. It's all about the writing. Stephen King talks about this in On Writing where he's felt "on the outs." Even once he was published he felt dissed by the polite literary societies. But you know what? He's made a crap ton of money, is by any measure highly successful, and he eventually did win American Letters awards. And if you listen to his lectures you'll hear how he still feels shut out in some places. Editors work with lots of people, not all of whom they like. But as Ann Leckie says you have to be a real asshole, the type that does worse than eat live kittens, to find yourself on the outs. Trust me on this one. I've face planted numerous times and been (unintentionally) the jerk in the group. And this winter, in Detroit, I will still be allowed to raise a glass with that incrowd of authors and some of them will ask just why the hell I haven't been published, yet. (Hint, it's because I'm not breakout good enough, yet, and my output has been a trickle these past 6 years).
A tweet storm on what psychological abuse means. (Grokked from Jason Sanford)
Saladin Ahmed on fantasy, reality, the stories we tell ourselves, and how/what we choose defines us.
"Kaakutja, perhaps the first known boomerang victim." Pointed to for both the respect shown to the remains (here in the US, tribes typically have to sue to have remains returned, which is why they're now very reluctant to give them up in the first place) and to demonstrate that they initially thought the wounds were from metal swords. Older weapons technology was exceedingly good, all metal really did was reduce some maintenance and increase usable life. There's the tradition held that a samurai was just as deadly with his bokken as he was with his katana (IIRC Minamoto Musashi won his first dual using a wooden training sword, although it's sometimes claimed this was a quarterstaff like weapon, against a fully armed samurai). (Grokked from Jason Sanford)
Planet Money podcast on the Miracle Apple. Kids these days don't know how lucky they are.
"Yana Shapiro is a partner at a Philadelphia law firm with an exhausting travel schedule and two boys, ages 9 and 4. When she feels run-down from juggling everything and feels a cold coming on, she books an appointment for an intravenous infusion of water, vitamins and minerals." While the article lumps this in with other "alternative medicine" (which has been widely ridiculed), and many doctors will tell you it's a complete waste of money and time, I can tell you that it probably is effective, if more than a little dangerous. See most people, even if they're able to drink enough liquids, don't. This is why one of the first treatments you receive in an emergency room is getting a bad of salt water tied into your blood stream (hydration). Add "nutrients" to that drip is a fast way of getting them into your system. And here's something most people don't know, your liver keeps most of anything getting into your bloodstream (it's a real problem for pharmaceuticals which is why doses tend to be 2 to 10x more than really needed, because your liver will stop most of it and you need to overwhelm the liver, it's also why injection drugs are both faster and more potent, and it's also why snorting or injecting oxycontin is the method of choice for addicts even before the reformulation to make it extended release). The dangerous part is your liver performs that function for a reason. Take potassium for instance. Too much K in your blood leads to tachycardia, muscle cramps and convulsions (the car equivalent would be like when you add nitrous oxide to the fuel mix, too much and your engine blows out). This is parenteral nutrition, which needs a doctor's prescription. It is also the 2016 version of high colonics. Most healthy people don't need them, even if it may make you feel better, because you're doing more damage than good.
"The government claimed that it is legal to enter a building and demand everyone's fingerprints, passwords, encryption keys to unlock all phones." Well, that's not the actions of a totalitarian regime at all. (Grokked from Ken McConnell)
"Many countries think of TB as a disease of the past and this lack of awareness results in shortfalls in funding and a lack of political will to aggressively combat the disease." The hospital I work at is near our Sheriff's office, we see many prisoners for a lot of things, but mostly we're taking chest X-rays to screen for TB (they have positive skin-test results). Some of them have been positive (it's also why your health workers are tested every year for TB).
"'I promise you that we will be united against any Supreme Court nominee that Hillary Clinton, if she were president, would put up,' McCain said." So I believe Sen. McCain is conceding defeat and accepting that the Senate will be controlled by Democrats. Otherwise he's advocating dereliction of duty and dishonoring the Oath of Office of a Senator. He also said he doesn't know if Trumpster would nominate anyone better of SCOTUS. Well, Uncle Johnny Walnuts, I guess you should have supported Merrick Garland's nomination then instead of being a leading voice against his nomination moving forward. (Grokked from Chia Evers)
"On Thursday evening, there were noticeably more Secret Service agents monitoring the news media’s pen, though the agency declined to comment about the protection. Both CNN and NBC News have their own security at Trump rallies to protect their reporters and cameramen."
While they both have the word "Foundation" in the title, there really is little other that the Clinton Foundation and the Trump Foundation have in common.
"According to a Politico report Monday, Holder will serve as chair of a new umbrella group called the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which will bring together national and state-level Democratic political groups, as well as unions and progressive organizations. The group will mobilize around elections in the years to come that will determine who gets to draw the districting maps after the 2020 census which will be in place for the following decade of elections. The White House has worked closely on launching the campaign, and the President strongly backed the choice of Holder as its chair, Politico said." Thanks, Obama. No, really, thank you. I was going to write about this after the election that no matter what the outcome (still have my fingers crossed) the Democratic Party should look and work very hard on this issue. Maybe lead state referendums on making redistricting a non-partisan process and define congressional districts into more heterogenous areas that have regional identity instead of party loyalty. My suggestions is including mathematical requirements on the geography of districts that make it hard to gerrymander (there would also be a provision to allow exceptions, but they would be a low percentage instead of what seems to be a majority of cases).
"The mayor of a small Pennsylvania town was voted out of office on Monday after his town council rebelled against him for sharing a barrage of racist, derogatory messages on his public Facebook page."
A Michigan GOP official is ousted from her elected office (with the party) for not supporting Trump. Noted because in the back of my head I'm on the lookout for the beginnings of the purge within the GOP.
Had this thought over the weekend that after 8 years of sounding off about the threat of (for all intensive purposes, nonexistent) voter fraud that the Republicans are now keeping the whirlwind. Unfortunately that reaping will affect all of us, and might get a lot of us hurt. (Grokked from Beth Falk)
Whomever paid for this billboard, I love you. (Grokked from Kelly Link)
"A Donald Trump staffer on Sunday claimed that the Republican presidential nominee never mocked the appearance of women who have accused him of sexual assault, but noted that, in her view, it would not be 'offensive' if he did." Wow, that's some weapons-grade denial right there. But then it comes from the worldview of "'When you have somebody claiming that you sexually assaulted them, you have brought looks into the equation,' she said." That's not how it works. That's not how any of this works.
The news media continue to take the Trumpster literally when he claims the election will be rigged. He's whining, people. It's his little pity party. It's his version of holding his breath. Here are five reasons you can't rig our elections. He can't accept that he's going to lose so he has to blame it on something else, after all he's wonderful. He has a history of claiming things are rigged when he doesn't win, or people are stupid/boring/on failing shows when they disagree with him. Jesus, don't you all get he has the maturity of a 5 year old? What will be interesting is what new laws and voter requirements will be proposed by GOP governors and state legislatures when they lose a 3rd POTUS election in a row.
"Donald Trump’s “election protection” effort will be run by Mike Roman, a Republican operative best known for promoting a video of apparent voter intimidation by the New Black Panthers outside a polling place in 2008." I don't see any way this could go wrong. (Grokked from Xeni Jardin)
"Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) said Monday that if Hillary Clinton is elected, Republicans will unite to block anyone she nominates to the Supreme Court." While he later walked that back (I mean, how can you delay for 4 years?), my guess is that they'll also block lower court appointees, like they did for Clinton and Obama.
Tweet of my heart: @andylassner The @GOP candidate for president who says only he has the temperament to stand up to terrorism is tweeting about SNL being mean to him. (Grokked from Pat Rothfuss)